Thursday, August 25, 2011
By Keith Spera
On Wednesday afternoon, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis kicked the proverbial tires at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, the new, multimillion-dollar arts, educational and community center in the upper 9th Ward’s Musicians’ Village.
They jokingly checked under classroom desks for gum. They strode the dance studio’s wood floor. They demonstrated the 1.5-millisecond echo in the 150-capacity, acoustically engineered performance hall.
Had such a facility existed when he was a boy, Connick marveled, “I would have been here every day.”
The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named for Branford’s father, the storied jazz pianist and educator, officially opens today with a private celebration.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are expected to speak. Connick, the senior Marsalis, and Branford and several of his siblings are slated to perform.
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